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Beaujolais Nouveau News (Merged topic)

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This year's crop of Beaujolais Nouveau has been released today. Early reports have called it "sunny", a good vintage, helped by the "canicule" they had this summer; The ceremonial place for this unveiling is the town of Beaujeu, where 15,000 people gathered at 1 minute past midnight.

Anybody have any hands-on comments about year's heralded vintage of BN?

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I did try the Duboeuf villages version today. If I had to say something I would maybe say that it tasted less bubble gum and maybe a little closer to a real gamay wine than normally. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that it 's anything close to any great gamay wine. If I normally find the BN sort of an appalling wine, then this year from the bottle I tried it's less appalling. Maybe the heat made it less bad.


When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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When I told the shopkeeper I was leaving Paris just before BN was legal to sell, he offered to sell me a bottle under the table just before I left.

I didn't take him up on the offer.

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As the whole world knows, Thursday, November 18th will see “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” signs in tout Paris. In addition to the wine-bars listed on the French Forum here, as I noted in last week’s Digest, the website Paris Voice has published Julie Baker’s compendium of places in which to sample it. They are:

Couleurs de Vigne

Taverne Henri IV

Aux Bons Crus

Le Baron Rouge

Le Sancerre

La Tartine

Le Rubis

Cave La Bourgogne

Bistrot des Augustins

And in 2004 she added Juveniles


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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As the whole world knows, Thursday, November 18th will see “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” signs in tout Paris.

Don't you think this marketing coup has somehow destroyed the reputation of Beaujolais wines? There are some great beaujolais village wines but Duboeuf stuff is a disgrace!

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Don't you think this marketing coup has somehow destroyed the reputation of Beaujolais wines? There are some great beaujolais village wines but Duboeuf stuff is a disgrace!

True, but I must say I was pleased with the "bag in box" BN I picked up last time from my local entrepot for occasional quaffing.

In addition, most restos and bars in Paris don't serve DeBoeuf but that from winemakers seldom seen in the States.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Don't you think this marketing coup has somehow destroyed the reputation of Beaujolais wines? There are some great beaujolais village wines but Duboeuf stuff is a disgrace!

True, but I must say I was pleased with the "bag in box" BN I picked up last time from my local entrepot for occasional quaffing.

In addition, most restos and bars in Paris don't serve DeBoeuf but that from winemakers seldom seen in the States.

great marketing coup & good reason to step out thursday. BN is just that, BN. the beaujolais crus are a treat & a completely different wine. just have fun.

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Since the Digest will be up late this week, I’m posting this now so that the Beaujolais obsessed folks know that today in “Zurban,” the day before the Beaujolais Nouveau will be released, Sébastien Demorand devoted his major review titled “Il est arrive-é-é,” to a place where the patron grew up in Beaujolais and returns one day every week. It’s called Les Coteaux in Saint Mandé, 8, rue Jeanne d’Arc {Note: 4 long blocks South or a few stops on the #86 bus from the #1 St Mandé Tourelle Metro stop} 01 48 08 74 81 and it features Chiroubles, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, Fleurie and Chénas as well as sausages, cheese, head cheese, “polka terrine,” and calf’s head like an andouillette.

In addition, Figaroscope's "Dossier" today is all about Beaujolais, I'll let you go to the link to read it if you wish.

Wednesday, again, Adrian Leeds’ Parler Paris newsletter had another long list (24) of places to go for Beaujolais Nouveau in her issue called “A Lip-Smacking, Pleasure-Provoking Beaujolais Nouveau.” Due to eGullet & copyright practices, I will not list them but urge you to go to her website if interested.

Edited by John Talbott to add second and third paragraphs and correct Les Coteaux title from Beaujo to Il.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I've tasted a BN that was served by my butcher to his clients that was actually rather nice. However I have also had some really terrible stuff somewhat resembling Boone's Farm. I can't remember what it was. But it was just terrible. A local Lyon Magazine wrote an article two years ago about the terrible terrible product that was finding its way to the store shelves and the official Beaujolais Nouveau conglomerate promptly sued the magazine and shut the whole house down. They are not to be messed with.

NYT Article

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I've tasted a BN that was served by my butcher to his clients

I'm always happy to share a glass of Beauolais Nouveau with any bartender or restaurateur who cares to make the offer, althoug it's been a long time since I've contemplated actually buying a bottle. I'm pleased to celebrate the harvest and the future of the wine for a few weeks, but by the time December rolls around, my interest is about zero.

There's little that's sadder than seeing cases of six month old BN on sale. It may even be more depressing than seeing good books being remaindered for less than the cost of blank paper. Good Beaujolais is still a favorite wine. The current issue of Ed Behr's the Art of Eating features Beaujolais and it's wines. I haven't finished reading all of it, but I was suprised to learn that several of a small group of winemakers filter part of their production for the French trade, but not at all for the American market to the credit of their American importers.

It's probably not my place to comment on the rulings of the French courts, although they seem restrictive in regard to critical expression. If the court find it goes "beyond the acceptable exercise of the respective social roles of criticism," to say that Beauolais Nouveau is shit, I wonder what they'd make of some of the hyperbole on eGullet.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Don't you think this marketing coup has somehow destroyed the reputation of Beaujolais wines? There are some great beaujolais village wines but Duboeuf stuff is a disgrace!

True, but I must say I was pleased with the "bag in box" BN I picked up last time from my local entrepot for occasional quaffing.

In addition, most restos and bars in Paris don't serve DeBoeuf but that from winemakers seldom seen in the States.

OK, confession time. I was wrong about what I stated about DeBoeuf earlier; today (1) I saw DeBoeuf signs in the window of one bar and (2) DeBoeuf adverts and bottles in my neighborhood Monoprix. Apologies to fabienpe.

Also, I did try the BN, at least one - “La Reserve du Maitre de Chais” at my brand new wine merchant and without going into a parody of the WSJ type descriptions, e.g. “some frambois, just a hint of blueberry, a bit of acid but no detritus, etc,” already done better than I could do it by Paul Giamatti in ‘Sideways,” I was impressed enough to get a 5 liter bag-in-box for 25 Euros for apertif quaffing.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I grew up in the Beaujolais region. La fete du Beaujolais wasn't surrounded by much hoopla at all when I was a kid. Funny how someone's marketing scheme travels across the world. I get asked about this fete all the time. I'll probably even have to give a lecture on it this year. I know that I will be asked about the "real" celebrations in Beaujolais. What will I say, basically that a bunch of French farmers get together and get drunk?


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I grew up in the Beaujolais region. La fete du Beaujolais wasn't surrounded by much hoopla at all when I was a kid. Funny how someone's marketing scheme travels across the world.  I get asked about this fete all the time. I'll probably even have to give a lecture on it this year.  I know that I will be asked about the "real" celebrations in Beaujolais. What will I say, basically that a bunch of French farmers get together and get drunk?

This is an excellent opportunity to sit down and think about what really happened as you were growing up in the Beaujolais. Where did you live, can you remember autumn days and what you felt, the images you have in your memories of the end of the month of November as you came into being there? What was your view of the landscape at the time? What did you think the first time you saw the marketing campaign appear in France? Where were you at the time?

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I grew up in the Beaujolais region. La fete du Beaujolais wasn't surrounded by much hoopla at all when I was a kid. Funny how someone's marketing scheme travels across the world.  I get asked about this fete all the time. I'll probably even have to give a lecture on it this year.  I know that I will be asked about the "real" celebrations in Beaujolais. What will I say, basically that a bunch of French farmers get together and get drunk?

This is an excellent opportunity to sit down and think about what really happened as you were growing up in the Beaujolais. Where did you live, can you remember autumn days and what you felt, the images you have in your memories of the end of the month of November as you came into being there? What was your view of the landscape at the time? What did you think the first time you saw the marketing campaign appear in France? Where were you at the time?

Thank you for the suggestions. It helps to reflect on my personal and professional experiences from a "literary" perspective when I'm lecturing about food and wine. My flippant remark was more of a reaction to the fairly new media hype. I noticed you are in Lyon. I was born there and worked in several Lyon Bouchons when I was working up the line as a young cook. On one my trips back a few years ago I happened upon a beautiuful bakery in the old part of town. The bread was the height of artisanal made, works of art really. As it turns out a girl I went to school with was the co-owner with her baker husband. I wish I could remember the name or the street. If you ever feel like exploring that part of town look for it. The quality is so striking that you will know right away which one I am talking about.

The landscape of my childhood in the Beaujolais. I'm sure you've been there. It's so close to Lyon, how could you resist visiting one of the most charming areas of France? I could see the Saone river from my mother's window. The weekly farmer's market in the village square brought some of the best produce in all of France. Everything was fresh, local and natural. My mother didn't even have a refrigerator untill about 10 years ago.

The first time I noticed the "marketing campaign" I didn't really know it was a campaign. I was a student in Paris and I just noticed signs here and there announcing the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. It was actually my American wife who told me about the marketing blitz when were first went back to visit. She was giddy with excitement. And I looked at her like "what are you a tourist?" :laugh


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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We go to the Beaujolais often to walk. It is beautiful country. You know the old joke about Lyon, there are three rivers running through it... :laugh:

Ah, so you were in Paris when you first noticed signs in the bars. Were they mass produced signs or hand written ones? How old were you at that time? What did you and your wife do about it when you went back to Paris later and were keeping an eye out for the blitz? Did you participate in the hoopla like tourists? :biggrin:

My first experience with the Beaujolais Nouveau was a few months after we arrived in France. It was at a fromagerie at Croix Rousse, where I used to do all of my shopping because the Thursday market there was the best value for the money, we were really struggling at the time. So the woman fromager told me that I must get a Pierre d'Oré , because it was a special occasion. I blushed, thinking she thought it was Thanksgiving (I am generally obscessed with Thanksgiving during the second half of November). And she then said - "This cheese comes from the region of the Beaujolais" with a patient smile on her face, as if I was supposed to understand something. I didn't get what she was saying but bought one anyway, because it seemed quite important to her. It was a lovely cheese, hard and tangy. That afternoon, I had to get something from the butcher in my neighborhood, and they invited me to have a glass of wine. Oh how nice. I felt very special being offered this wine. It was my first taste of the Beaujolais Nouveau. I then discovered it was from his brother's production. It was the hard sell. Of course I bought some. My kitchen at the time had one very small window in a very thick stone wall that the sun used to shine into for a very short time in the afternoon. I remember the pink sun shining in a beam into the kitchen as I poured myself a glass of the wine. It was only after that that I noticed the signs in the windows.

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Yes I was in Paris when I first noticed the signs. I was in my late teens. I don't recall signs in my village when I was growing up. Word travels fast in small villages. We all know when the harvest ends. I do recall it was just a fun way to celebrate the harvest. I don't think most of the stuff was even bottled. It went straight from the barrel into a pitcher. It was like you drink it NOW! It's supposed to be drunk as a fun wine. Easy, good times with friends and family. Can you market moments like this? :laugh:

Yes, BN would go well with a hard tangy cheese and a crusty baguette. I'm starting to physically ache for French food now. I can feel it in my heart!

Although my wife and I have been back to France many times during all the seasons, we have never been there in November. I know that she really wants to be in Lyon this year around that time. If so we will definately particpate in some of local festivities. And my mother in law wants more those hand painted silk scarves that Lyon is famous for.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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At the risk of “double-posting,” but since the Digest will not be up until later this week, I wanted to suggest that if you're interested in Beaujolais Nouveau and are in Paris now or in the immediate future you buy today’s Zurban which has an article on all the places serving it. Sebastien Demorand gives his advice where to go, specifically: Les Enfants Rouges, Les Coteaux, Jacques Mélac, La Cloche des Halles, Le Gavroche, Le Rubis, Vin chez moi, Le Comptoir du Relais, + Le Verre Volé, 67, rue de Lancry in the 10th, 01.48.03.17.34, that I’m singling out because it has a fantastic bargain – with a bottle of Beaujolais, costing 15 E, one can dine at the buffet à volonté, having everything from ham on the bone to cheese(s). As he says in the words of their English marketing slogan – “It’s beaujolais nouveau time.”

Also Figaroscope's Gilles Dupuis does an article and a tasting and says BN is like nothing else you know and since this year's taste is "classic," the wine will taste better after a few more months maturing.


John Talbott

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I know, I know, it's (1) a marketing truc, (2) a transition for white wine drinkers to red, (3) amazing in that of the 383,000 hectaliters made, 500,000 are consumed {I made the latter figure up, it could be higher}, and (4) like "kissing your sister." Let's stipulate those. But if you're walking down the street and see those "Le Beaujolais est arrivé" signs, don't you have to stop & sip?

Yes, OK, but what does it taste like?

Metro says this year's BN has a raspberry, groseille and cassis taste. {How many times have you heard that?} Someone said it's got a stronger taste than usual.

I tasted three different ones today; the first, at Nicolas, their own by the way, was insipid and practically tasteless; the second at my local wine merchant's, was a tad better than insipid, let's say pathetic, and the third that I had at home was made from grapes and had some alcohol in it.

Can't I say anything nice? Yes, it was a perfect accompaniment to my Picard frozen pizza.


John Talbott

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I know, I know, it's (1) a marketing truc, (2) a transition for white wine drinkers to red,

(5) a transition for some white wine drinkers to white. :biggrin:

Yes, OK, but what does it taste like?

Metro says this year's BN has a raspberry, groseille and cassis taste.  {How many times have you heard that?}

I remember one year it was banana and bubble-gum. At least it was fun.

(Okay, I'll taste it this year too.)

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I guess that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because I'm going to be tasting the "Gaillac Nouveau" today.

Until we moved down here I hardly knew that anybody even attempted to emulate the Beaujolais silliness. ( I remember what a big deal it was in England during the 70's with races in outlandish modes of transport to see who could reach London with the first bottles.) Don't know how long they've been doing Gaillac Nouveau, but not for long I suspect.

The Nouveau had been about on a par tastewise with the Beaujolais over the past few years. Lousy in other words. There was a recent year 2002? 2003? Can't remember where the Beaujolias was actually pretty drinkable. It sold out quickly.

We'll see this year with the Gaillac.

Can't resist a story. In the mid-80's I used to go to Chez Panisse in Berkley a lot, upstairs for lunch & less frequently downstairs for dinner. When I reserved dinner one time I was told that that was the "nouveau zifandel" dinner. A nice menu built around the new vintage zifandel. (fortunately in this case I can't remember who made the wine.) Well, I have to say that the "nouveau zifandel' was perfectly awful. Undrinkable.

I got the waiter over & asked for the wine list & ordered something else. Great fuss ensued. I explained that I wasn't sending the zif back as it wasn't spoiled or anything, but that I just didn't like it & wasn't going to drink it, but that as I had ordered it I was going to pay for it the fault being mine not the restaurant's.

Being the class act they always were Chez Panisse refused to let me pay for the "nouveau zifandel".

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Wednesday-Thursday in Le Monde Jean-Claude Ribaut wrote an article about this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau and recommended the gourmand, non-filtered, non-chapitalized wine of Michel Guignier (69910 Villié-Morgon : 04-74-04-22-24), available for 5.50 Euros from Yveline et Daniel Hallée at l'Œnothèque (the restaurant where you can also buy bottles to take-out) at 20, rue Saint-Lazare in the 9th, 01-48-78-08-76.


John Talbott

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Luckily, I don't get the urge!


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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